Monday, June 12, 2017

Tour Divide MTB race, furbaby pics, Minnesota calling

Hello...just a quick post before I fly to Minnesota to help care for my mom (TOMORROW morning, EARLY!).  There's a lot going on right now....the annual Tour Divide mtb race is underway...it started last Friday morning with the Grand Depart in Banff Alberta. It's a 2700 mile SELF SUPPORTED ride/race following the continental divide from Canada to Mexico. It has OVER 300,000 feet of climbing. The Mens record was set last year by Mike Hall, (I believe somewhere around 14 days) with a blistering pace of over 200 miles a day! The ladies current record was set in 2015 by Lael Wilcox, and she wasn't that far behind Mikes pace (albeit a year earlier). Nobody this year is challenging either record, but that doesn't mean that some of the riders aren't killing it, cuz they ARE! Here's a link if you are interested:

2017 Tour Divide live tracker

 I love following this race...it's just so INSANE! Most riders do well over 3000 miles as they routinely ride off route to get stuff, such as FOOD and WATER, or a place to SLEEP! (not everybody uses a sleeping bag..some actually plan on hotels the entire way). The fast people ride 20 hours or more a day. On a Mountain Bike! If you go to the link, up top you get the map showing all the SPOT locations of all the riders. Below that you see the altitude profile...looks a teensy bit intimidating if you ask me! Can you imagine getting up every morning after spending 20+ hours on your bike the day before, and the day before, etc etc, and to keep going? With NO HELP? You need something, you ride till you find it. Bike breaks, you fix it w/ what you are carrying or you carry/ride it until you can find a shop (you are allowed that). By the gentlemen's rules you're not supposed to render aid unless it's life threatening (ie: if I am carrying a part that you need, I'm not supposed to give it to you). Anyway....I find it so off the charts unimaginable that I follow the racers...if you click on their SPOT link's you get a quick blob of who they are, what bike they are riding and a bit more. But off to the right you can pick between all the race categories, and if you click on the riders there you get their full bio, including links to their web site if they have one. One of the guys (he's in the top 10 right now) is from Attascadero CA (about 70 miles away from me) tho I don't know him. Still fun to follow a local guy!

OK...enough on that. I have more pictures to post of our monsters.

 Our little darling napping on the top of the couch cushion. She likes to climb UP on things.


Just living the good life.


 Bonding (NOT) with PG. You have to give her points for trying.


 Snoozing in Jeannies good chair.


Now they're playing in Jeannies good chair.


 Oh look, we're just little angels!


 Abbey also likes to climb INTO things. Such as the pantry while Jeannie is cleaning it out.


 Nothing to see here folks, just move along and leave me with all this dog food! And can you show me how to use the can opener before you go?


 Some people call their pets "house plants". Here's Abbey imitating one.


It's like she's part cat sometimes. She loves getting up into the shelves for some reason.


 And here she's helping Jeannie clean the freezer.


 Sophie and Abbey napping ON MY LAP. Two cuties for sure.


Seriously, I wasn't snoring, was I? Really? Are you sure? I don't think I snore...not me.

And that's all the pics for now. As I said, I"m off to Minnesota for a few weeks...possibly 3 (my plane ticket has me coming home on 2 July, but if Mom is doing good I might come home after 2. We shall see and make the call at that time.

I will have my laptop with me, so I'll have connectivity to the world. Wish me luck...it's going to be an interesting trip. 

Later gaters!

Monday, May 29, 2017

Happy Memorial Day

Well....another Memorial Day has come and mostly gone...I'm still sitting here in a hotel in El Segundo (just south of LAX)...been here almost 2 weeks now. Our work here is almost done...we've finally got the spacecraft loaded into the container...so all that's left is to convoy the container to the aircraft and fly it home. THEN we transport it from the aircraft to the payload processing center and unload it. After THAT it's no longer our worry. Until then we have a VERY VERY VERY VERY expensive vehicle in our care. Of course I make it sound like no big thing to load it into the container, transport it, load it, unload it, transport it again and unload it again. It takes a HUGE crew of people working tons of hours for this all to happen...I'm just a small cog in a big machine.

Meanwhile, Jeannie left the babies in a friends care and flew out to Minnesota last Weds to help care for my Mom, who is undergoing chemo for stage 4 ovarian cancer (which was discovered back in early March). My brother Greg already was there for the first 3 weeks, Jeannie is doing the 2nd 3 weeks, and I'll be flying out on the 13th (I think) of June for 3 weeks. We are doing our best to help our Mom thru this ordeal. The fact that it's spread throughout her body is not a good thing, but other than a cough (from the cancer in her lungs) she was fine all along...it was the persistent cough that brought her in for testing. If anybody can beat this thing it is my Mom...at 83 years old she would tire out the Energizer bunny (seriously). The chemo is having an effect tho....(duh)...so right now she's not the dynamo she normally is...but that's certainly to be expected. Her chemo started a bit over a month ago...the first Friday she does a double dose (2 diff types) then the next 2 Fridays she does a single dose...then taken a week off and start the cycle over. This will go on for 6 months unless her oncologist sees a reason not to.

I've totally missed the cycling so far this year...I was HERE in the hotel for the Tour of California, that went right thru my back yard again (the Tepesquet climb last week). the day before that the finish was on Main Street Arroyo Grande...(15 miles away). And now the Giro is over...pretty much totally missed that...wasn't even reading much about it. Sounds like it was a real doozy tho. I do hope to catch le Tour...I should be flying home from my trip to MN on 4 July, just in time to up our satellite package and at least watch THAT.

The babies are all doing good...Abbey has an ear infection, but other than that is doing quite well. She has consistently gained just a hair over a lb a week. As of Saturday she was 4 months old and weighs right at 15lbs. I'm hoping she tops out a bit over 30lbs fully grown...but we will see soon enough. She is a real terror and just a joy to have around. And Sophie has TOTALLY taken her in as her sister/daughter...they play nearly all the time...and she is SO gentle with her, we couldn't be happier for that!

Anyway...that's the scoop from here. Just trying to keep my lips above water. I should be home by Thursday morning. I start working night shift tonight (working 12 hours...ugh) and will continue working nights all thru the 10th of June when hopefully we are all done with this mission. 

Cheers!